Peru’s Foreign Trade Minister apologizes to Ecuadorian government

Peruvian minister Mercedez Araoz(LIP-wb) — Peru’s Minister of foreign trade and tourism, Mercedes Aráoz, personally apologized to the Government of Ecuador for her statements that the victory of Rafael Correa in last Sunday’s presidential runoff would put the Andean Community of Nations (CAN) at risk.

In declarations to Lima’s radio station CPN, the minister said “I have personally called the Ecuador government and offered my apologies for my initial statements which were inadequate.” Aráoz did not reveal further details on who she talked to.

“I offered my apologies because it was certainly not my intention to question president-elect Correa”, she said. “I probably didn’t express myself clearly and journalists took it the wrong way. I wanted to emphasize that we want to follow the integration process of the Andean  Community. That is our priority”, she maintained.

On Monday Aráoz told foreign correspondents that the election of Rafael Correo as new President of Ecuador would cause problems to the Andean countries integration process and to the trade negotiations of CAN with the European Union because of the closeness between Correa and Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

Correa then responded by describing the statements of minister Aráoz as "terrible". Peruvian Prime Minister Jorge del Castillo then immediately clarified that the opinions of Aráoz do not represent those of the Peruvian Government.

Peruvian president Alan Garcia ended the dispute by congratulating Correa for his election and assured that bilateral relations would be strengthened with the new government. He also personally invited Correa for a visit to Peru.

Aráoz says now that she wishes Rafael Correa luck and success for his administration.

– related articles –

– Peru’s Premier rectifies government’s position on Correa’s victory in Ecuador (LIP, Nov. 28, 2006)